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The Underrated Redemption Story That's Dominating Hulu

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, audiences are in need of as many feel-good stories as they can find. Shows like My Name is Earl have found renewed viewership on Hulu, for example. The sitcom follows the title character's efforts to make amends for the misdeeds of his past. Though the series is more than a decade old by now, its redemption storyline has resonated with present day audiences nevertheless.

Redemption films like Burden have also found success within the past year too. The movie was first released in 2018 to mixed reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film has become available on Hulu through the Showtime add-on and has found an entirely new and enthusiastic audience as a result of its newfound streamability. Friday Night Lights actor Garrett Hedlund plays title character Mike Burden, who was raised within the Ku Klux Klan. When he and his girlfriend, Judy (Andrea Riseborough), escape the Klan, they end up in the care of Reverend David Kennedy, a Baptist church leader played by Forest Whitaker.

Critics are divided on Burden, but audiences clearly enjoy it

Burden currently holds a critic score of 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Katie Rife of The A.V. Club praises the film's director for managing to "avoid a few of the more obvious stumbling blocks for a drama about racism from a white writer-director." Nevertheless, she described its morality-driven story as lacking in complexity and overly-reliant on Southern tropes. NME's Ella Kemp commended the film's noble intentions as well as Hedlund's and Whitaker's performances. However, she described the film as a whole as "frustrating," calling it "a prime example of misguided energy, where the focus is placed on a white man learning to repent for a lifetime of evil, rather than praising a Black man who shows kindness."

By contrast, Burden enjoys an audience score of 97%. While user reviews are scarce on Rotten Tomatoes, they are overwhelmingly positive for the film, with viewers praising its central performances and morality too. Viewers looking for a simple redemption story and fans of Forest Whitaker's past performances alike can stream Burden now on Hulu through the Showtime add-on.